Product Photography: How to Shoot and Retouch Photos Like a Pro | Daniel Nwabuko | Skillshare
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Product Photography: How to Shoot and Retouch Photos Like a Pro

teacher avatar Daniel Nwabuko, Demystifying Photography x Videography

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction

      2:28

    • 2.

      Class Project

      0:55

    • 3.

      Workflow Overview and Tips

      3:09

    • 4.

      Setting the Creative Direction

      1:55

    • 5.

      What to Highlight

      2:31

    • 6.

      Introducing the Set

      4:02

    • 7.

      Light Modifiers

      2:34

    • 8.

      Lighting and Getting the Shot

      16:33

    • 9.

      Editing Your Photo

      15:18

    • 10.

      Conclusion

      1:41

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About This Class

When it comes to product photography, having a better photo can be the difference between selling and not selling a product. 

On the bright side, product photography follows more or less the same workflow.

So, what really makes or breaks a product photo?

Simple answer? Lighting!

In this class, we'll walk through a product photoshoot together.

We’ll cover:

  • The concept of the shoot
  • The shoot itself
  • The editing process

This will help us see what it takes to come up with a final image that is marketable as we keep our focus on lighting.

Light can be used to evoke emotion in a photo; whether that is dark and moody, bright and highkey, or even something more fun and interesting. All of these elements can help consumers make purchase decisions.

I’ll be taking you behind the scenes of the shoot, showing you the different things that I consider when lighting, propping, or even the tiny little hacks that I use to bring it all together.

This class is for intermediate or higher level photographers who already have a general understanding of camera controls as well as off-camera lighting. You’ll also need to have a working knowledge of Adobe Photoshop.

This class is also perfectly tailored to in-house professionals as I’ll be touching up on how I set up my workflow in order to be able to create a certain level of consistency through my process helping you save time as you work through multiple projects, as well as ease communication when working with a team.

By the end of this class, you’ll have:

  • A complete understanding of ways you can use lighting to create dynamic and compelling photos
  • An efficient workflow that can be applied to any form of product photography, and beyond!

I'm excited to see you in class. Let's jump right in!

Meet Your Teacher

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Daniel Nwabuko

Demystifying Photography x Videography

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Hey! Thank you for stopping by to check out my page. I'm really excited to share my classes with you! Be sure to check them out if they're up your alley. I hope you enjoy them :) Oh! And don't forget to leave a message in the discussion section of the classes, I'd love to be able to connect more with you.

Here's a link to a free month trial here on Skillshare. Happy learning!

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Level: Intermediate

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Transcripts

1. Introduction : Every photo is a good photo until a better photo arrives. When it comes to product photography, having a better photo can be the difference in being able to sell a product versus not being able to. On the bright side, product photography follows more or less the same workflow. What really makes or breaks a product photo? Simple answer, lighting. What's up you-all? My name is Daniel, and I'm a photographer based in the Canadian Prairies. I've been doing this for the bigger part of a decade, and as a photographer, I find that a major part of my job is seeing, capturing, or even wielding lights to create an image with a compelling story. In this class, we'll be walking through a product photoshoot together. We'll start off with the concept of the shoot, walked through the shoot itself, and then the editing process to see what it takes to come up with a final image that is marketable as we keep our focus on lighting. Light can be used to evoke an emotion in a photo. Whether that is dark and moody, bright and high key, or something more fun and interesting. All of these can sometimes help consumers make their purchasing decisions. I'll be taking you behind the scenes of the shoots, showing you the different things that I consider when I'm lighting, propping, or even the tiny little hacks that I used to bring it all together. This class is for the intermediate or higher level photographer who already has a general understanding of camera controls, as well as off-camera lighting. You'd also need to have a working knowledge of editing software like Adobe Photoshop. This class is also perfectly tailored to the in-house professional as I'll be touching up in how I set up my workflow in order to be able to create a certain level of consistency through my process. Helping me save time as I walked through multiple projects, as well as ease communication when I'm working with a team. By the end of this class, you'd have a very good understanding of ways you can use lighting to create dynamic and compelling photos. Not to mention an efficient workflow that can be applied to any form of product photography and even photography beyond that. Without further ado, let's jump right in. 2. Class Project: Thank you for joining me for this class. Before we go ahead and jump into the lessons for this class, I just want to take a little second to talk about the class project. For the class project, I want you to pick any product of your choice. It really could be anything, your watch, your computer, a drink, a pair of shoes you like, you catch a drift, anything. I want you to photograph it. When you do, I want you to consider things like the texture of the product, the color, props that you might want to include in the shoot as well. I want you to come up with your own take on that product in picture. I'd love to see what you come up with, so please post your edited photos in the project gallery section of this class. If you like some feedback on it, I'll be happy to give you some positive feedback. Let's jump right into our first lesson. 3. Workflow Overview and Tips: Before starting out on any product photography, I always like to chart out a course of events and just write things down from the jump. What this helps me accomplish is simplicity of my workflow. I know exactly where I am as I work, I know what needs to be done, and if I'm working in a team and need to communicate with other members of the team. Being able to show them exactly where I am on the chart just makes it easier for everyone. I'll go ahead and show you what mine looks like. Feel free to adopt it and if you have something better, feel free to share that as well. Personally, I like to split my workflow checklist into three different parts; before the shoot, during the shoot, and after the shoot, make sense when we're shooting anything. Before the shoot, I like to ask the question, what is it that we are shooting? Although that might seem obvious, it's nice to have that answered and just get that out of the way. Now, I look into details of what we're shooting, are there colors I should be aware of? Is there a texture, is there an overall feel to it? Because all of that would matter for what would be the final product of the shoot. In preparation for the shoot, I also like to write down what exactly it is that we're going to be needing during the shoot. Now, obviously, we are going to be needing the product that we're shooting. But what are the instruments that we're going to be using for that shoot? For example, what kind of cameras are we going to be using? Are there special lenses that we're going to need for these cameras? What kind of lighting? Light stands, light accessories, and as well as props, things that would also help to just bring the shoot altogether. Having all of these down in a checklist really help me simplify my work and just help in communicating what is needed for the shoot and where exactly I am in the preparation stages of the shoot. After we're done preparing for the shoot and after we're done shooting, obviously, we move to the next stage, which is after the shoot. This is mostly editing, so we'd probably be talking about what software are we going to be using to edit, and really if you do most of your work well before and during the shoot, you may not have much work to do after the shoot. The reason is lot of the work goes in before and during because products are already as they should be, as beautiful as they should be. My job as the photographer is to catch what has already been made and put it in the best possible lighting situation. That way people are able to see the vision or whatever it is that the creator of the product had in mind during creation of that particular product. I'll make a quick note here by saying this entire class is structured according to this workflow. As we go through the class, I'd be checking off the boxes for the corresponding portions of our checklist. That way, you know exactly where we are in our workflow. In the next lesson, we'll begin talking about the creative direction for the shoot and things we'll be focusing on as we shoot. I'll see you in the next lesson. 4. Setting the Creative Direction : In the previous lesson, we talked about my work overview and how I structure my workflow just so that I'm able to keep up with everything that's going on. Well, in this lesson, we'll be talking a little more about the creative direction for this product shoot. The job of a creative director is to plot out what creative decisions will be made in respects to what we are trying to achieve for that shoot. Now when it comes to product shoot, most times we're trying to bring awareness to that product and what could be an add. So the job of the creative director here would be to answer the questions of, how would you want this product to be perceived by anyone who looks at it? Now, this is where conversations about the mood of the photo comes in. Do we want to create something light and airy or something [inaudible], something luxurious? Do we need to create some set design that would help tell the story and better showcase our product? Those decisions are made by the creative director and my job as a photographer is to get the right tools and right lighting to be able to help bring it over this to fruition. There are cases when the creative director is also a photographer or vice versa and for the sake of this class, I will be playing the role of both of those. Now with that in mind, I've chosen to go with a dark look for the product shoot. I want to use that dark fill to invite a little bit of mystery, but still I want to look at the product and still be able to see all the details present in it. A dark fill, but highlighting details, and that's it. That's what we're going to be working with and that's what we're going to be trying to achieve in this shoot. In the next lesson, would look at the details of our products and things I would like to highlight in our shoot. Stick around and I'll see you in the next lesson. 5. What to Highlight: In the previous lesson, we talked about creative direction and how that can affect what becomes the final product of the shoot. Well, in this lesson, we'll be looking at the product that we have and figuring out what things to highlight as we consider it for the shoot. As previously shown in the workflow overview lesson, there are some details on the product we're going to be shooting today, and I'm going to be pointing out some of those to you. Now, some of these details could be functional, while some of them are just for aesthetic purposes. Either way, they were put there for a reason and if they are put there for a reason, my job as the one photographing these products, is to show those details. Let's take a look at the soccer cleats that will be shooting today. Right off the jump, the first thing that I notice is the texture. The body of this footwear has some texture to it and I think it's definitely worth highlighting in the photo. It's something that should be visible when we take that photo. Another thing is the color. Now, as you can see, a majority of the cleats are matte black colored, but the design logo is in this neon yellow, and fiery orange colors. Those are two colors I definitely call for some attention. I can imagine that we're not trying to be very subtle when adding those colors to matte black shoes. Still on the color and texture theme of these shoes, I also noticed that there's this glossy black trim, where the mid-sole meets the outer so of the shoe, and I think it's also worth highlighting. All of these things that I've mentioned, are things that I've noted and things that I will be looking out for to make sure that I'm capturing in the photo that we take. Just to bring us back to our checklist, we're still in the pre-production phase and we've been able to identify what it is that we're shooting. We've talked about the visuals on it, including the color and the texture and we've also decided on going for something with a dark and dramatic look, but with proper visibility of our product. At this point, I want you to take a look at the product that you'll be shooting for your class project, highlight certain things that you find interesting, and make notes of those as things that you want to be seen in the final photo. In the next lesson, I'm going to be introducing you to the set where we are going to be working on, so that we have a general look and overview and we can see the different tools that we'll be working with. I will see you in the next lesson. 6. Introducing the Set: In the previous lesson, we talked about certain things that we could pay attention to during the shoots. Some of the details that were contained on the product that we're going to be shooting. Well, in this lesson, we're going to take a look at the set and see what I have and go through all the different things that I'm going to be using to make this shoot possible. I'm just going to turn you around over here with me. I do have a different camera angle here so that we're able to get a full view of everything that is going on here. Up here I do have the softbox that I'm going to be using. I do have a 200 watts strobe at the top of it. Really doesn't matter to the power of the strobe they're using is going to matter while you're shooting, but it doesn't exactly matter. All we need is a strobe, something to give us light and something to help us control lights. Now this softbox by itself has a grid underneath here so that it is only bringing lights down this way, straight up and down. We do not want any of the lights spilling too far. That is what the softbox and grid are for. If there was just one light that I was going to go with, this would be the one it is the main light. If there was any light that was going to tell us what is it exactly that we're shooting, this is the one right here. Our main light, very important. Now of course we have the star of the show, which are soccer cleats. Here I do have them on two invisible strings or relatively invisible strings. Now, lots of people use things like fishing lines, but I personally got mine from the craft store, and these are just illusion chords. Whatever it takes for you to be able to hang and suspend, and will be able to easily edit, that's basically what we're looking for. We have our strings on the boom stand that is connected to just a little tripod stand here. Same thing with this softbox up here. We have it on a boom stand connected to a C stand over there. Really all we are trying to get are just things that help us get the job done. Now, I do have a black background in the back because I'm going to be shooting right from here. I'm going to be shooting the shoes in this direction, so what I'm looking for is I do not want anything that is going to add some color or add in this case, I guess color and texture. I just want to flatten black background. That is the look that we're going for, and so that is why I have a black background there so that no color is added and all the light is just focused right here. That's exactly what I'm going for. I do have another softbox over here that we're going to be using to light up the shoe. I'll be showing you when we start talking about lighting, how I'm using the different light I've been breaking down the light so they can see exactly what is lighting up the shoe in a certain way. This one is going to be back here and I might probably be having another lights add it to the scene. I will show you, we'll go over that and see exactly what each light is doing. That is a majority of the setup for this. The stands, everything I do have sandbags on them. Sandbags are very important. You are dealing with things that would fall just for anything. Plus it's really weighted on one side so you really don't want to test that out. I use a sandbag just to weigh these things down. That is a set that we're going to be working with today. It's quite simple and this is where we're going to be working. I should mention, I did get some turf. It only makes sense. We've talked about props previously. This is my prop of choice. Soccer is played on grass fields, or it's also played on tufts sometimes, whatever the case. But this looks like where soccer is played. I did get some of that as we're going to use that for a prop. Again, all of this setup is still a part of the pre-production stage of the overall shoots. But at this point, we're dealing with the items that we're going to be using for production. In the next lesson, we'll take a moment to look specifically at the light modifiers that are present on the sets. I'll see you in the next lesson. 7. Light Modifiers: In the previous lesson, I showed you around the set that we'll be working with today. Just showing you the different tools that I've set aside for this shoot. Well, in this lesson, I just wanted to take a moment to talk specifically about the light modifiers that I chose for this shoot. They're about three different modifies that I set aside as I think they're going to be very useful for this shoot. I'm going to go ahead and show them to you and then I'll tell you why I picked those specific modifiers. First off, I have this 23 inch round softbox, which I chose to be used as my key light. The reason I chose around softbox of this size is because it is not too big as to spill light everywhere, but it's big enough to cover the area of this shoot. Now speaking about light spillage, I also put a grid on it to help reduce the light spillage and just keep the light directed at what exactly we want is to be directed at, which is the product that we're shooting today. The other softbox that I picked is a 24 by 36-inch softbox. This one I chose to actually be the rim lights that helps me separate my products from the dark backdrop. The product we're working with is mostly black and so would naturally blend into a dark backdrop so we want to be able to create some separation so that we know exactly where the edges are of the product that we're shooting. I did also bring a light reflector along to use as needed. I'm anticipating that the key light coming from above may create some shadows underneath the product. I figured that I may as well need an extra light and add one to help alleviate those shadows and maybe just to help also point out some details. Now on the light reflector, I also have a 60-degree grid attached to it. Again, these grids are present just to focus the light as needed and to avoid light spillage to anywhere we do not want the lights to be. I believe that as a photographer, a major part of my job is understanding light and being able to shape it and modify it to be able to create something a little more dynamic. Although I have all of these different modifiers, I will only be using what I find to be the best for what we're trying to achieve. In the next lesson, we're going to go ahead and begin shooting, we'd see what each individual light creates and after putting them all together, I believe we'll be able to come up with our product photo. I'll see you in the next lesson. 8. Lighting and Getting the Shot: In the previous lesson, we talked about the different light modifiers that we're going to be using to get our shot. Well, in this lesson we're going to begin shooting and we're going to have the light separated so that we can see what each individual light is doing and by the end of it, we're going to combine all the different lights and whatever light accessories that we have to see how they all come together to make our one final shot. Right behind me, I've gone ahead and I've tethered my computer over here to my camera. What happens is you're able to see every shot that I take, and I'm going to be sharing my screen with you as well because what is happening is my screen is recording everything that my camera sees. You're going to have just the behind the scenes view of everything. Right now, this is the setting that I'm on. What I've done right now is I'm going to take a test shot. For this test shot, what I'm going to be doing is I'm going to go ahead, set up my camera and put it in aperture priority mode, and you can see the numbers that is giving me over in the screen here, I put an aperture priority mode, set my aperture to 6.3, and the reason I have my aperture set up at 6.3 is because I want to be able to get not a shallow depth of field, but a fuller depth of field, that way, I'm seeing exactly what the shoes look like. I'm getting all the details in the shoes as compared to just a little part of it. That is why I'm going to be setting my aperture to 6.3. Now I do have my ISO at 100, but I'm going to go ahead and set that to automatic ISO to see if what the camera is going to do with that. Currently setting it at auto, you can see that it has changed my shutter speed to 150th of a second. I think that's fine. I'm going to go ahead and take that test shot and see what it looks like. That's a shot that we've just taken. Now it doesn't look too bad. Can it be better? I think it can be better. I have set up my lights and everything just so that we can go over everything and see how we can make the shot better. Initially, our plan was to get a dark photo, but one that still shows the details of the shoes. That's exactly what we're still going to be shooting for, but you can see that just with a normal exposure, this is what we're getting. I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to turn everything into manual mode. It's going to be completely manual. I'm going to be in full control of everything. I'm going to be in full control of both the power that the lights are emitting, and I'm going to be in control of both my camera settings as well as the flash settings. Everything is going to be manual and I'm just going to go ahead and do that right away. I've currently switched everything to manual mode. I'm going to go ahead now and I'm going to turn my ISO to a 100. The reason I'm keeping my ISO at a 100 is so that we can get the cleanest possible image. I do not want any grains in this image because I'm thinking how this image might be used, if it's going to be used for advertising purposes, it might be blown up and put it on a billboard, it might be blown up and put it somewhere where someone can actually look and see the fine details of it, so I I do not want it looking grainy. As you can see, I've put it on a 100 for my ISO, it's right here, and aperture at F6.3, shutter speed at 160th of a second. You can see that that is the camera preview, that is where it's supposed to be, and if you look closely you'll see that it is pretty dark. This is where we're going to start introducing our strobes. The point of this is we do not want any external lights to be affecting. Now I do have some video lights going on here. I don't want that to be affecting our shot because when we let it affect our shot, you can see what we came up with. It was just a very flat photo. Right now I'm going to go ahead and start introducing the different lights that we have here. I'm going to start off with my main light over here. The main light is the one that's going to be bringing light from up, down, and it's just going to be lighting the shoe evenly. I'm going to start off with that one. I'm going to go ahead and turn it on and we're going to have to test. Usually what I do is I go really low, so I go to 1/128th of the power that this light produces. I'm going to just give it a test flash there. We can take a look and see what that produces. Take a test shot. It's still very dark as you can see. I'm just going to go ahead and bump that up a little bit. I'm going to go to 1/8 of the power of that flash. Go ahead and take that test shot, you can see this is what it gives to us. It is really dark still. I'm going to go ahead and turn it up again. Right now I'm shooting at 1/8 of power, I'm going to go ahead and increase that to half the power and take a photo and see what that looks like. I'm going to go ahead and take that shot and see what we get from it. Now, this is what we're getting from that shot. I like it, it is creating that separation that we want it. It's just giving us a very good look at the shoes. I think I'm going to leave it here and let me just take a look. I'm going to take a look and dial it down a little bit. I'm going to go to 1/4 the power, and I'm going to put it a 1/3 of a stop above quarter power. I'm going to take that shot. This is the photo that we're getting. I don't think that's better. I'm actually going to leave it at 1/4 power and a third of a stop above 1/4 power. With that, I'm going to be turning off this light and I'm going to be turning on the one behind just the kicker light, just to see what effect is that going to be having on the shoe. Now, what I want for that is I just want it to line up the shoe, just give it a good rim light from behind. I do not want too much of anything else. I do not want it spilling over to the front, I do not want too much of it spilling over on the grass here, but we're going to see how we can control that. If we're not able to control it, some of that might have to be done in post. I'm going to turn off the main light over here and then I'm going to turn on the one in the back just to get and see what our kicker is going to look like. Again, I usually start small, I go to 1/128th of the power of that light. Just to see, I'm going to take a test and make sure the light is on and take my shot and see what we produce from that. You can see that it is completely dark, it's completely black. I'm going to go ahead and turn that up a little bit. Right now I'm shooting at 1/8 the power. Again, these numbers are not preplanned numbers, these numbers are numbers that I'm just coming up with, if it's too low, I bump it up. Some people would use a light meter to try to get all the lights to be perfect in just one shot, I personally like the creativeness of just the creative push to try to get different things from different lights. Yes, I do leave my lights everything at normal. I do not use a light meter, just cause sometimes you stumble upon something creative, something you find that you can use in a different shoot. I do like to leave mine that way. I'm just going to test to make sure the light is on. I'll go ahead and take that shot again. You can see the preview, take that shot and you can see that we are starting to get something very similar to what I had said we wanted to achieve. Now I also noticed that we're getting a lot on the grass. I think that by making this light horizontal, it can assist. Just instead of pouring light down this way, we can throw more of the light coming in an upright angle. That way we're not getting as much light spillage on the grass. That's exactly what I'm going to do right now. I've gone ahead and I've changed the setup just a little bit, you can see that the light there it was previously vertical, I've made it more horizontal now, just going to adjust this slight little bit. The light that I'm looking to get poured out from here should becoming more in this direction as compared to spilling light down here. I also tilted it slightly upwards, that way we are getting something that is just pouring lights towards the shoe and not too much going on the grass. Let's take a look and we'll see what that looks like. I'm going to go back here, see the preview of the shoe and take that shot. If we compare this to the previous photo that we had, you can see down here we don't have as much light spillage as we do down here. That is simply due to this change that we made over here, where we made the light horizontal instead of vertical as we had it right here. Tiny little changes like this can make such a huge difference. These are the small changes that we're going to make and it would help just put everything together. Now what I'm going to do right now is I'm going to turn on that key light and leave the kicker light on. I'm going to combine both of them to see what we're going to be getting. Let's go ahead and turn that. It's the exact same setting we had it on previously. I'm going to go ahead, take that shot. I think we're currently doing a good job. You can see that the combination of that light from behind and the one from above, you can see what the combination of those lights do. I think we're getting a really beautiful image, very beautiful. I do notice that underneath here we cannot see too much and we had earlier speculated this, that we might be getting some shadows underneath because we have a light that is coming from up, down. I did have a third light set up here just in case we needed that. This light is going to be pushing in some fill lights just so that we are able to get just a little bit more room to fill in the bottom of the image, to fill in the bottom of the product so that everything on the product or the details are still very visible. I'm just going to go ahead right now, turn off the other two, again, we're isolating lights to see what each individual light brings that way when we combine them, we have an idea what each individual light, what is going to be covered by each light and we'll be fine. I'm going to go ahead, just use my controls here. Turn off the other two lights and turn on the other light. Starting again from the lowest setting, I'm just going to test, make sure it's turned on and starting again from the lowest setting, take that shot, see what it looks like and you can see that it is still very dark. Now, yes, indeed, we can see that it's starting to highlight the under parts of the shoe, but it's still very dark. I'm going to go up, bump that up from 1128th to 116th. I'm going to take that shot. Let's take a look and see what that shot actually looks like. Again, you can see we are doing way better now. We can start to see a little bit from the bottom of the shoe and I'm really happy with that. I'm going to bump that up again to one-eighth. See exactly what that brings. Let's take a look here. I think we are now starting to see the details from underneath the shoe and I had previously talked about that gloss underneath right here, the gloss in-between, where the mid sole and the outer sole of the shoe meets. I think I really like that. We are starting to see all of that. After isolating all the different lights, we can see what each individual light is creating. Now we're going to combine everything, turn on all the different lights. We've seen what they've created by themselves individually. We're going to turn them all on and we're going to be getting that one photo that we've been working. Everything that we've talked about is working towards this one point, where we get this one photo that we're going to be using as our key photo for this whole class. I'm going to go ahead, turn all the lights on. We've seen and tested each one individually and we've agreed and we like what it looks like. We're going to go ahead, turn them all on and see if they actually work together. Because sometimes you might turn them all on together and realize that something is slightly off. Again, I've not changed any of my settings. Camera settings have remained the same the whole time. It's just the only thing we've been changing are the light settings. I'm going to go ahead and take that shot. I think that's a great shot. It shows all the details we want. It shows everything that we talked about. I think that I can see all the details that I wanted to see in this shot. I can see everything and I think the lights are just good as they are. If anything, every other change can probably be made in editing and because I said that we may want to reduce the amount of work that we do in editing. Now one of the things that I noticed is the front right here, as you can see, is well lit up. I really like that, but the back is not as much lit up. There is a little bit of light here, but I still want a little more separation. There are two things I'm actually going to do here. Taking a look right here, I'm going to increase the light coming from the bottom, just a tiny little bit. Right now we have it at one-eighth. I'm going to increase that to one-eighth with two-thirds of a stop above one-eighth and take that photo again to see what we get. That right there is what we get from that and I'm completely fine with that, but I will like a little more separation. If I had another light, I would have put another light, right now we're currently working with three lights, but another light might be unnecessary. What we can use instead is a fill. I'm going to get myself a whiteboard and this can just be a foam core. It can be pretty much anything white, cardboard that's white, anything white, white bounces light too. That's what I'm going to get and that's what we're going to use just to put a little bit of fill right here in the back. I got myself this white nice board that you can pretty much get from any craft store. Like I said, you can use anything papery that would help you just bounce light off and I'm going to be putting it somewhere here. The reason I've put it somewhere here is so that it can catch some of the light that is coming from this over here and it can just bounce that this way. I'm going to go ahead and take that photo and we'll take a look and see the exact difference between both photos. One with the white core board and the other without. Let's take a look. Both photos are very nicely exposed. I do like both photos, but I think that when we take a look, you can see that the one on the left-hand side is the one where we had the white craft board to just bounce light back here and you can see the slight difference, just a tiny little difference. It shows you all that matte in the back here. Although this photo is still a pretty good photo, I like this one slightly better. It shows me the whole shoe, it shows me everything I need to know about the shoe, all the details are intact and that's what we were aiming for. I think we have successfully gotten exactly what we wanted out from this. We were going for a dark, mysterious vibe, but at the same time we wanted to expose the shoe properly so that we can see all the details that we had in them and I think we've done that successfully. Before we go on, let's do a quick recap of what we've gone through in this lesson. We started off by checking what it'd look like without any of our strobes turned on, just the ambient light and then we got this photo. Then we slowly began adding in our lights, starting with the main light, then the kicker, our fill light, before bringing it all together to make our final photo. Let's not forget, we added it in our whiteboard just to give a little bit of fill to the other side of the shoes. All of this element had to come together to create our one product photo. Well, in the next lesson, we'll take a look at editing our photo and removing the distractions that were present from the set. That way we are left with just the product that we want. I think we've done a great job of achieving what we set out to do creatively. Let's finish that up with our edits and I'll see you in the next lesson. 9. Editing Your Photo : In the previous lesson, we went ahead and we isolated the lights that we were using, what each individual light was doing, then we went ahead, put them altogether to make our one photo. In this lesson, we're going to go ahead take that photo, do some editing on it to remove the distractions so that we can come up with our final product photo. We're going to be working in Photoshop today, so let's go ahead and jump right in. Here we are in Photoshop, and we have our two final shots that I picked. You can see that the first one over here, this one right here, would be the one without our white field board, and the second one would be the one with the white field board. What I'm trying to do is the photo of the shoes here will be the final ones that we're looking to go with. What I'm looking to do is, I'm trying to get the shoe as it is here, but I'm also trying to take out this whiteness of the board. That's what we're going to be working on, and that's why we have copies of both of these here, so that we can use this one, without, right here, and we can use it to replace this part of the photo with this part of this photo. That's exactly what we're looking for. In a situation like this where we're going to be merging two photos together, the first thing I usually like to do is make sure both photos are aligned, and how I achieve that is I turn both layers on. This is the layer that I'm going to be ultimately taken out. I'm going to reduce the opacity of that layer, and zoom in here. How I know if they're both aligned is if I can see any blur here as we can see here, just a little fringing blur the edges, I know that they're not completely aligned, so I'm going to have to move one of the layers to fit perfectly with the other layer. You can see it's blurry all around. I'm going to zoom out here. All I'm going to do is I just select my move tool by hitting the V key, and I'm going to use my directional button, because I can see that they're quite close, as you can see here, on the line. We can actually use the line as a reference point. I can see that one of the images is just shifted slightly left or right to the other. I'm going to use my direction pad here, and just hit the left button, see where that takes me and you can see that it's taking me away in the opposite direction. I'm going to go ahead, hit the right button until I see that those two lines have aligned with each other. We're making very small adjustments, and you can see right now we have a lot of clarity. Those two lines have aligned with each other. It almost looks as if there's still a little bit of blurring, so I'm going to go ahead and move up just to see what it looks like. I've moved a little too much. Move down, now move past the good points. Right here is where we have it. The two lines are aligned, and also the two shoes are perfectly aligned with each other. Now that we have both of them aligned, just let's take a look, if I turn it on, turn it off, we have both of them perfectly in line. I'm going to go ahead, and what I'm going to do is, I'm going to use a clipping mask, and I'm going to clip out to this part of the photo. Since we have to choose a line, I can imagine that every part of the photo is aligned with the other part, so that would include the grass of this photo being aligned with the grass of this photo over here. What I can do is, I can just take a clipping mask, and I'm going to put it right over this photo here. I'm going to turn that on. I'm going to take a clipping mask, put it over this photo here, and you can see that this clipping mark actually opens up because it's white, it shows the whole of the shoe. That's not what we want. We actually want this mask to show just this part of the photo. I'm going to strike this out. Just that part of the photo where we have the black background here. What I'm going to do is I'm going to come in with a black clipping mask. I'm going to go ahead delete this particularly clipping mask, select it, right-click, Delete Layer Mask. What I'm going to do is, instead of just hitting the clipping mask, I'm going to hit Option, and then hit that clipping mask. What it does is it hides that whole layer, and then we get to select, we get to choose what part of the layers are going to be open for us to be able to view. How do we do that? I'm going to select my brush by hitting the B button. As you can see here, my opacity is at 20, my flow is at 10. I want to turn that opacity, right now is at 90, I'm going to make that 99, and you can quickly change your opacity just by hitting the numbers pad on your keyboard. To get it to 99, I just double-tap 9, so that's 99, and if I want to get it says say 40 or 50, 50, I just hit the five and it makes it 50 for me. Ninety nine, I double-tap that twice. The flow you can change actually by holding the Shift key, and then hitting whatever number you want. In this case we're looking for the number at 99 as well, because we're going to be painting in whatever is contained here on these shoes. I have it set at 99 for opacity, 99 for flow, I have my brush selected, and I have that I'm going to be painting in white. I'm going to go ahead, and we're painting in white to this mask here. I'm going to go ahead, and you can see very nice and very easy, it's taking that part of the photo off. Almost too good to be true, but that's the power of Photoshop, and this is because of all the work that we have done prior to now. You can see that I've taken that out very easily. The next thing I'll be looking at is, I'm going to go ahead and merge both layers. The reason I'm merging both layers is now going to start working. Since we've taken that out, since we've gone ahead and taking out this part, I'm going to start working on this photo as if it was just one photo that came into Photoshop. The rest of the photo is exactly the same, we do not need anything extra. I'm going to go ahead and select both layers. Select Layer 1, select layer 2, and hit Command E. Command E is going to merge both visible layers together. I do notice that we do have a little bit of white here. I'm going to be cropping in just a little bit so that we don't have to see that white, and I'm going to activate my crop tool, which is by hitting C. By heating C here, you can see that it selects one of the tools that is under the crop options. That's a slice tool. I'm going to go ahead and select my crop tool, and just crop in a little bit. I'm also going to crop from underneath just to take out the parts of the grass, you can see right here, it's all just black, so I'm going to go ahead and crop that out. One of the things I'm looking at is I want my shoe to be centered, so I'm using the guidelines here to center my shoe. I'm going to hit Enter, and that's the crop that I have. That's good. Few distractions that I'm going to be taking out, obviously the lights, and obviously the strings. How am I going to take those out? Very easy for the strings actually. There's a couple of things that I can do. What I'm going to do is I'm going to hit S. S is my clone stamp tool, and I'm actually going to clone just this bottom part of the shoes here, and I'll explain why shortly. I'll go ahead, make my sample from here, and clone this out, and now the next thing I'm going to do is instead of trying to clone out this whole part of it, I'm actually going to go ahead and select my J, which is my Patch Tool, and just go ahead, select the rest of it here, and I could actually just patch that part. It does quite a pretty good job. Pretty much a perfect job of just cleaning that off, and you can see what we have here. That is completely gone. I'm going to do the same here. Close stamp tool, just make sure I clean that up. It's all gone. Good. There we go. I'm going to start using my patch tool. Select my patch tool by hitting the "J button". Go ahead, select all that needs to be selected, and I want to be careful that my cursor is not going into the light because that would affect how the patch tool is selecting. I just dragged that as you can see and that is perfectly fine, and you can see what we've done so far. Just very nice and very easy. The last thing I'm going to do, I'm going to select this one right here, the light right here. I'm currently using a free hand selection with my patch tool, but we're not going to be using the patch tool to completes the selection. What I'm going to be actually be using for this is a Content Aware Fill. All I've done with the patch tool is I've used it to select, make the selection of that, and I'm going to fill that in with my Content Aware Fill, let Photoshop do all the work for me. All I have to do is shift backspace, that's shift delete on a Mac, and you can see that it opens up this feel dialog box, and it says content here. Here you can choose to fill it in with many different things; your foreground color, which in this case would be white, or your background color or a certain color, but I'm going to be choosing content aware and just hit my "Enter", and let's take a look and see what Photoshop does for us. Perfect, fills it in with black, that's the exact color that we're looking for, and you can see that there isn't too much texture, and this was one of the reasons I didn't want too much texture in our background. That is what we have. Now, of course, I'm not forgetting we did use a pin to hold up our shoe. So I'm also going to use the clone stamp right here, hit the "S", and what you want to do here is you want to get as close as possible just so that when you're sampling and using your clone stamp tool, you are getting the details that are very close and very close surrounding area of the shoes, and that is what you're actually using to fill in the spaces that you want to feel. I'm doing the same here, sample from close by and easy to just paint away the silver from that pin that just glares at us. You can see that and I stepped out a little too much. I'm going to come back right back in and zoom a little bit and you can see we're already at pixelated layer. Maybe we want to zoom out a little bit, we don't need to be that close and just make our selection and just clean it up. There we have it, very easy. For this part, same idea, I'm going to be selecting from over here, clean in here up. Just making sure that I'm not going too far, I'm not reaching too far in so as to clone stamp the shoes itself. I just want to make sure I'm clone stamping just the part of the shoes where we previously had our distractions. Just about done, I'm going to take some selections from right here, paint in a little bit here, hit "Control Z" because I saw that there was an error there. Make my brush smaller, go right back in. Those are the changes that I'm making, very small, very subtle. For this final part here I can see that the blend here doesn't work out perfectly. So I'm actually going to go back to our patch tool, select this, and just go ahead, drag that over and see what it does for us. Better than where we started, not perfect, I'm going to do that patch to move a few more times, see what it does for us, and we can actually zoom out from this photo just to see what it looks like. It looks like we have a very bright highlight there when we zoom out, I don't like that. What I'm going to do is I'm going to go ahead and fill in this place with black actually. So just using the clone stamp tool, I'm going to select some black from here and I'm going to reduce my opacity actually just maybe to about 28 this time, flow still at 100, and I'm just going to go ahead and just paint in what we're clone stamping, and we'll take a look and see what it looks like after we've done all of this. You can see it's just getting darker and darker, and that's what we're looking for. For this part right here that looks a little too dark, I'm going to increase my clone stamp tool, reduce the size of my brush and actually clone in some lightness to that parts just so everything matches out. For this very shinny points here, again, opacity go into a 90, we're going to take some black and clean out that point as well. There, a way better than where we started from. We have done a lot of cleaning up, I'm still going to be doing some more cleaning up here just to make sure everything is nice and cleaned out properly. We don't want things looking weird when we zoom out. This is what we have, let's zoom right back out and we can see that that place now looks more like a highlight than just a place that was shining. I think we've done a very good job here. If there was any other thing that I want to do, I just wanted to make my grass down here darker, so what I'm going to do is I'm going to put in a brightness layer, reduce my brightness, but because I do not want that to affect, right now it's affecting the shoes as well. The shoe, the backdrop, the grass, everything is just affecting everything globally, I'm going to go ahead and invert my mask, I'm going to click my mask, hit "Command I". Now it's inverted and I can select my brush by hitting "B", and you can see that opacity flow are really high. I'm going to go ahead and just paint in that darkness right into the grass, and that's what we have. Now, I can see that it's way too much, it's way more than I really wanted so I'm going to go ahead, reduce the opacity for that brightness layer, take a look and see what we're getting. Now, I'm also going to paint in just a little bit more, reduce the opacity of my brush to about 30, and just paint in a little bit more, and there you have it. That is a final product that we have for our shoe. Quite easy, very small changes that we made in post-production, and this was because we made everything easier for ourselves in the process of pre-production and during production and so it makes our production, our post-production way easier. There you have it, that's it for editing. Very nice, very easy, and we're only able to achieve that because of all the work we put in pre-production and during production, makes our work way easier in the post-production stage. In our next lesson, we're going to go ahead and round off everything that we've talked about throughout this class. See you in the next lesson. 10. Conclusion : We finally come to the end of this class, and I wanted to say congratulations to you on making it this far. We started off this class by talking about the workflow that I use in my creation process, and throughout the rest of this class, we use that to work through our lessons. We set our creative direction and figured out what it is that we wanted from our shoot. Then we went on to look at our subject and mapped out certain details that we wanted to be present in our final photo. I took you around the set showing the different tools that I thought would be helpful to us on our way, and then we began shooting. We kept our focus on lighting as we isolated our lights to see the effect of each one of them before finally combining all of them to achieve one final product photo. We took one final step to edit our photo and remove any distractions that were present in order to have all the focus on our product, and that has been our journey to this point. I hope you've been able to pick up a thing or two that helps you in your photography journey. Again, I'd love to see projects that you come up with, so I encourage you to share your projects in the project gallery section. If you have any questions about anything that we touched on, feel free to leave them in the discussion section of this class, and I'll be more than glad to get back to you. Thank you for your time and attention. My name is Daniel. I'll see you in the next class. Cheers.